along the mule-path."
It had grown quite dark, but by the aid of lan-
terns they made their way merrily along the trail.
A group of negroes on ahead were singing as they
** Why do they have their church so far from the
village?" asked Mrs. Barry.
*' They seem to have a fancy for having them in
wild out-of-the-way places," said Marshall. " You
may come upon one anywhere among these
" A negro church, or a moonshine still," said
The narrow path bordered steep declivities in
some places. The flickering light of their lanterns
made the darkness visible, and the chasms seen
more awful, lending a touch of excitement to
'* What kind of a gathering is this we are going
to?" said Mrs. Percy. ** I wish Mr. Held were with
us. Could an artist paint such a weird effect as
W'tn de Gates Lift Up deir Haids " 1 67
** They are holding protracted meetings, and hav-
ing a revival," said Mr. Ridgeway. " Alexander has
been off duty every evening this week because of
** I have some twinges of conscience," said Miss
''Why so?" said Mr. Russell.
" Going just out of curiosity. It seems not
** We 're not going like a parcel of bad boys,"
said Craig. '* My conscience is all right."
** How long since? " said Dick.
" Here we are," said Mr. Betts. " Hear them
'' That sounds like a dirge," said Mrs. Clare.
" They seem to be marching," he replied.
The door of the rude cabin stood open, and the
light streamed in long rays out into the darkness.
Within, black . figures could be seen, their bodies
swaying, and their feet and in some instances their
hands also, keeping time to the singing with a gen-
tle patter. A few negroes hung around outside the
door, and others were still coming along the trail.
The singing ceased, and the voice of an old man was
heard in prayer. The quavering tones rose and fell
with a monotonous insistence that seemed to blend
0th the sounds of the waterfall and the wind among
the tree-tops. The cabin, the same in which the
political meeting had been held, was lighted by tal-
low candles stuck in rude improvised candle-sticks, —
pieces of wood with holes bored in them, in which the
candles were put, — thrust here and there between
the chinks of the loes. The visitors waited without
1 68 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
until the prayer ceased. Now and then would be
heard a groan or a cry, " Amen, bress de Lawd."
These sounds grew more frequent as the prayer
John stood near Portia. " I presume you have
attended these meetings often," she said. " I never
" Indeed, yes. A negro revival was a regular
thing. The masters encouraged them. They con-
sidered a nigger worth more who had experienced
*' How horrible ! " she said under her breath.
Marshall, bending toward her, caught the words.
** Yes," he said, in a low voice, " I see it now ; I
Again the bay of a hound awoke the echoes, start-
ling Portia as before. " What a hideous sound ! "
" I have heard the blood-hounds bay in the night
when they were tracking some runaway nigger, the
most unearthly noise you could imagine. This
sounds as if it might be one of their descendants."
" Oh, don't let us think of those horrible things
here in this wonderful, beautiful spot. I wish I
may never hear a hound bay again. I shall always •
think of what you have just said."
" I thought you liked to think of dreadful things
in these wild places."
" Oh, not those that have really happened."
The moon, creeping up over the mountain top,
looked like a rim of fire. The prayer ceased, and
they entered, seating themselves on the rough
benches near the door, which were vacated for
" Wen de Gates Lift Up deir Haids " 1 69
them with prompt courtesy. Portia was glad they
did not have to go farther into the close, dimly
lighted room. Negroes of all ages filled the cabin
in curious variety of motley attire. Josephus' rich
tones rolled out in starting the next hymn, followed
by Gabriella's high treble, while every voice sounded
strong in the chorus.
" Oh, frien's, don' yo' b'leeb me ?
Oh, frien's, don' yo' b'leeb me ?
Oh, frien's, don' yo' b'leeb me .''
Come hyar what Jesus say.
" We 's gvvine tu hab a hyarin',
We '.s gwine tu hab a hyarin'.
We 's gwine tu hab a hyarin'.
At de awful jedgemen' day."
The service, a mixture of praying, exhorting, and
singing, grew more fervid, and the ejaculations
louder and more frequent, as the moments passed,
until it became almost impossible to make out what
was being said. The leader was one adored by
the colored people, and a general favorite among
the whites. He never talked politics, but confined
himself to his own simple interpretation of the
Scriptures, travelling wherever he felt the spirit
move, to preach and hold protracted meetings.
A picturesque figure he was, tall and spare, with
intensely black skin, which looked the more dense
owing to his heavy head of snow-white wool. In
the dim obscurity of the room he appeared posi-
tively uncanny. Now in the midst of the confusion
he rose, and there was instant silence. He an-
nounced that a contribution would be taken up.
170 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
A hymn was sung in rhythmic chant, while the
congregation, by twos and threes, walked forward,
all singing together, passed in front of the preacher,
and laid their money on the table, passing around
it and back to their seats in time to the music, in
such a manner as to avoid moving in each other's
way. In the uncertain light, the grotesque proces-
sion seemed to be performing some heathen rite, or
witch dance. This ceremony over, two men passed
their hats, giving their visitors a chance to be
Then old Pauldo, the preacher, holding his
worn Bible in his hand, whole chapters of which
he could repeat by rote, although he could nei-
ther read nor write, gave out his text: ** Lift up
your heads, O ye gates ; even lift them up, ye ever-
lasting doors ; and the King of glory shall come
in ; " and proceeded to detail the glories of the com-
ing of the Lord. This was his favorite theme.
" Oh, bredren, hoi' up yo' han's in pra'r, fo' de
King ob g'ory baoun' tu come. He may come in
de lightnin' an* de sto'm-claoud, — he may come in
de evenin' w'en de sun go daoun yandah 'hine de
maount'n, — he may come in de mawnin* w'en de
cock crow, — yo' kyan' rightly tell w'en he gwine
sen' de angel Gabr'el blow de ho'n, but w'en de
Lawd come, de glory gwine come tu. De glory
gwine come tu, bredren, an' we-all wha' has kep' de
comman's o' de Lawd hyahin spaounded an'
splained, wha I done preachify tu yo' all dese y'ars,
is gwine be tuk cl'ar up tu de glory. We 's gwine
walk de streets ob gol'." (" Ahmen, bress de
Lawd.") ** We-all 's gwine be playin' on de gol'
" Wen de Gates Lift Up deir Haids " 171
ha'ps, 'n' w'ar'n' de gol' crowns 'n' de white clo'es
wha' shine hke de moon yandah wid de gre't shinin'
Hght f'om de t'ron' o' de Lamb.
** O bredren, what glory '11 be dar w'en de gates
lif up deir haids, 'n' de Lawd come through, like de
shinin' sun, wid de angels follerin' a'ter a-walkin' on
de claouds, an' wavin' deir palms, an' swinging deir
shinin' gyarments, an' singin', * Glory Hallelujah fo'
de Lawd come daoun.' O bredren, we-all 's gwine
be dar tu jine in de song. Oh, de glad h'ahts an' de
free ban's an' de white skins, like de white angels in
** We-all's gwine be dar, Brudder Pauldo," cried a
withered old soul, swaying back and forth, with the
tears streaming down her cheeks.
" Oh, yas, yas, we '11 be dar. Glory ! Glory ! "
** De debble gwine be knock daoun, an' chain' on
de bottom o' de flo'less pit."
"Whar'U be de tears den, my bredren 'n' my
sistahs? Oh, dey'U be wipe' away. Whar '11 be de
achin' feet an' de heaby h'ahts? Oh, dey '11 be light
like de wing ob de bird, like de bol' ob de cotton
w'en de pickin' time come." New shouts and cries
of " Glory" burst forth. '' Hyah what I tells yo',"
he said, and all was still again.
** All yo'-uns wha' nebber war convarted, git daoun
on yo* knees an' call on de Sperit fo' tu hyar de
pra'rs o' de righteous. Ben' de knee, an' bow de
haid. Kyan' yo' gib yo'se'fs up tu pra'r? De
bressed Jesus done pray tu de Fadah; I done seed
'im. Hyar wha' I tells yo'," he said again as the
responses grew fervent. He was going to tell his
vision, he always told his vision, and his hearers
1 72 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
always listened with breathless attention, like the
children they were, to the oft-told tale.
** I mine de time w'en I wan' mo' 'n a lad like
dis 'n' peekin' in de windah yandah " (the faces in-
stantly left the window and appeared at the door).
" My mars'r owned a lime kiln an' I war 'bleeged tu
mine de kiln all night, — 'case yo' kyan' 'low de fiah
bu'n low in de kiln 'daout yo' spile de lime, suah, —
I mine de niggahs been hol'n' pertraked meet'n's like
we-all been horn' heah, an' dar come 'long mighty
pow'ful preacher f'om Cha'leston wha' spaoun' de
scripter an' tell we-all a heap 'baouts de day ob
wrath an' de day ob glory ; 'baouts de fiahs ob
hell like de bu'nin' fiah in de kiln ; 'baouts de
streets ob gol' whar de saints walkin' in deir white
robes, playin' on deir ha'ps o' gol' an' singin' in
de New Jerusalem, an' I hyar all he a-talkin' an'
de words he done spoke wid de tongue ob flame,
fall on my bad, ha'd h'aht like de spa'ks ob libin'
fiah fall on de col' ha'd stone in de lime kiln,
w'en we sta'ts up de heat. My bredren, I know'd
de Lawd callin' me. I done wait all day fo' de
fiah ob de preachah's wo'ds tu bu'n dat ar bad
ha'dness aout'n my h'a't, an' I wait all night sitt'n'
dar by de kiln, an' I feel de ol' h'a't in me still hke
de col' ha'd stone.
*' Nex' day mars'r le' me off once mo' an' I go 'g'in
tu hyah de preachah an' dar he tell haow de Lawd
done fas' in de wild'ness. I did n' know wha' no
wild'ness war. My mars'r would n' le' me go tu no
wild'ness, but I 'lowed I 'd fas' tu, like de Lawd done
fas' an' I 'lowed p'raps de h'a't melt daoun wid de
fas'n like gol' in de furnace, an' de debble leab go
*' Wen de Gates Lift Up deir Haids " 173
an' le' me git cl'ar fo' tu go tu glory an' be free in
de New Jerusalem. I did n' eat nuff'n' dat day, an' all
dat night I sot by de fiah, an' feed de fiah in de
kiln, an' dar I call on de Sperit tu set me free, but
de debble hoi' on like deff, bredren. De debble
nebber leab go w'en he gits a fa'r holt. He nebber
leab go he's own se'f I kin tell yo' dat ar de troof.
An' dar I set lookin' in de kiln, an' de fiah bu'nin'
white hot, an' de stone crumblin', an' dar 'pears like
I see — wha' yo' s'posses I see? Bredren, I see de
Hebrew chillen in deir shinin' robes like silvah,
a-walkin' in de fiah, an' a-trompin' daown de stone
like, an' a hol'in' aout deir ban's, a-movin' raoun' like
dey steppin' some high-toned dance in de fiah, an'
den, bredren, I could n' look no mo'. I jes' cry aout
like I see kingdom come, an' run daoun in de hollah
'hine de kiln, an' dar I falls on my knees an' call on
de Sperit like I nebber gwine draw breff no mo', an'
I feel de debble pullin' back an' I cry aout, ' Naw, yo'
don'. Yo' gwine leab go dis time.' An' I call on de
Sperit 'g'in, an' dar all on a suddent come a bright
light streamin' long fo' sun-up, an' de light grow
brighter ontwell I kiver up my eyes wid my ban's
like dis-a-way, an' a'ter a while I look, an' I see, —
wha' yo' s'posses I see? I see a tall raoun' post of
shinin' light, an' top o' de post like I see a shinin'
man leanin' ovah de post an' a-lookin' daoun like
dis-a-way, an' at de foot o' de post, on de groun'
like, I see 'nudder man like de first, all white shinin'
like de bu'nin' fiah in de lime kiln, an' de one dat
Stan' at de foot kep' a-bowin' daoun, an* a-rosin' up
'g'in an' a-bowin' daoun an' a-rosin' up wid he's two
han's hoi' up like he a-prayin'. I 'clar', bredren, I
1 74 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
look on dat sight ontvvell I fall daoun wid de glory-
shinin' cl'ar froo me, an' de debble leab go, an' I feel
my h'a't grow all light wid de bu'nin' ob dat white
fiah, an' dar I nebber knowed nuffin' no mo' ontvvell
I hyahed my mammy say, * Oh, Pauldo, is yo' daid,
honey?' I tell yo', bredren, hoi' yo' ban's up in
pra'r tu de Fadah like de bressed Son done pray. I
seed 'im ; I knows. Dat ar' de bressed 'zample o' de
Saviour wha' done died fo' yo'-all, — wha' done save
yo'-all fom de def an' de fiah seven times mo'
hottah dan de bu'nin' white fiah in de lime kiln."
During this whole discourse, the cries and groans
of agitated spirits constantly begun and suppressed
caused a pervading feeling of excitement, extend-
ing its influence even to the visitors. When the
preacher had nearly reached his close, a crouching
figure moved rapidly across the small moonlit space
without, and crept like a shadow in at the door, un-
noticed by any but Portia. To overcome the emo-
tion which she felt stealing over her as she watched
the thrilling gestures and earnest face of the densely
black speaker, she had turned and was gazing into
the moonlight and stillness without. Like a shadow
the figure dropped behind the men and boys gathered
at the door, and crawling on all fours stretched him-
self like a dog beneath one of the benches against
the wall, where he lay concealed by the skirts of the
women and the legs of the men who sat upon it.
Portia could see the whites of his eyes as he peered
cautiously out. The same instant several hounds
bayed at once in the near distance, and the cower-
ing figure slunk farther back and was lost to sight-
Portia felt the cold chills creep over her. She
" Wen de Gates Lift Up deir Haids '* 1 75
clutched Marshall's arm, and for a moment could
Seeing the look on her face, he took the hand
with which she had grasped him. "What is it?"
'' Take me out. Take me away from here."
He drew her hand through his arm, and they
stepped out into the moonlight. She trembled,
"What is it?" he said again, gently keeping his
strong hand over hers as it rested on his arm.
" That creature, the murderer, the one at the mill-
bridge. I saw him. He is in there. Oh, they are
" No, no. It must be some — "
" It is. I saw him creep in. See, there are men
— there in the shadow of the rocks. Oh, come
away. No. Call grandfather, — call him out.
Go ; I will wait here." He turned at her bidding,
but she held him back, for two men had stepped
out in the moonlit space. Within the cabin the
negroes we reshouting and singing. John grasped
the situation, though he knew nothing of her pre-
vious fright at the bridge.
" Don't be alarmed ; they are after that brute."
He drew her with him back into the cabin, and
spoke a few hurried words to their companions. At
the same instant a low, long-bodied hound, a de-
scendant of the old Southern breed, rushed in at the
door, and with furious yelps began tearing at the
legs of the poor creature under the bench. Men
shouted, women screamed, and the wildest confusion
reigned. Some, supposing Satan was turned loose
when they saw Pete crawl out, desperately fighting
176 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
the dog, fainted where they sat, or leaped up crying,
** O Lawd, tu'n 'im out. Chain 'im in de bottom
ob de flo'less pit."
The guests, being nearest the door, were the first
to escape from the cabin. Josephus, leaping over
benches and prostrate forms, came to the poor
wretch's assistance, kicking the cur out of the cabin
and breaking its leg. It crawled off, dragging the
useless limb, to the group of men gathered outside.
The guests hurried away. Marshall walked by
Portia's side, keeping her arm within his. As Jose-
phus appeared in the doorway, a shot was fired.
The dog was quickly avenged. Portia and John,
turning, saw him fall face downward.
** It is Josephus," she cried. " Oh, stop them.
What shall we do? Speak to them."
" It will do no good. Come." He tried gently to
lead her away, wishing to save her anguish, but
horror at seeing a man shot down overcame her
personal fear. The others, thinking the two young
people were immediately in their rear, walked
rapidly on toward the wagon.
** Ought we to go back there and help the poor
devils? " said Richard, mechanically placing his hand
on his hip pocket, as another shot rang in the air.
" We can neither help nor hinder," said Clark,
carefully lighting the way for the others to follow.
"That's so," muttered Craig. "There's hell to
follow those shots if the negroes resist. The wisest
thing is to get these ladies home as soon as possible."
" Where is Portia?" said Mr. Ridgeway.
" She 's coming," said Miss Keller, pantingly,
stumbling short-breathed in her tight tailor-made
" Wen de Gates Lift Up deir Haids " 1 77
costume, trying to hasten in the uncertain hght.
Mr. Russell hesitated and turned back. *' I saw her
just this moment on Mr. Marshall's arm," she con-
tinued, and he walked on.
** Here, yu-all stan' aroun' thar 'nd gyard th'
cabin," said Patterson, levelling his weapon and firing
the second shot as the white-haired old preacher
appeared in the door, while Portia's pitiful voice
of entreaty died on the air unheard. *' We'll shoot
down airy devil 't tries tu run till we git th' one
we 'r' a'ter." Josephus staggered to his feet as old
Uncle Pauldo fell across the threshold with a bullet
through his heart.
Portia screamed, and, springing forward, caught
Patterson's arm while the weapon still smoked in
his hand, before Marshall could get his slower brain
ready for action.
** Oh, Mr. Patterson, don't do it again! Don't
shoot men down like that."
The touch of her woman's hand softened his
chivalrous Southern heart. He spoke to her as
tenderly as to a child. Flinging his pistol to one
of the other men, he said in a low tone, " Jes' yu
gyard th' door, will ye," and led her away from them.
** This here looks hard, but it's jestice, yu see. Miss
Van Ostade. It has tu be done, but hit's no place
fo' yu tu be. Whar 's yu' comp'ny ? "
" They 're here. Oh, they are gone ! Mr. Mar-
shall is here." She looked about and saw him lead-
ing Josephus away to keep the poor fellow from
being shot at a second time. She drew a sigh of
relief, but still kept her trembling hands on Mr.
Patterson's arm. In the darkness she saw men
1 78 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
quietly gathering about the cabin. From within the
shrieks of the frightened women came out to them,
pitiful voices of terror.
'' Oh, hear them, Mr. Patterson, — those poor
frightened creatures. You seem always so gentle
and kind, don't do it again. Hear them."
" I 'm mighty cut up 't any lady should be hyar
tu-night, 'nd be skeered as yu air. Yu see yu'
heart's tetched, but it can't be helped. It's no
mo' 'n jestice 'nd se'f-defence." Marshall approached
them. " Good-evenin', John. Yu ah this young
lady's escort, I take it. Ah yu with us or not?"
The question had a menace in it which Marshall
wisely ignored. He drew Portia's hand through his
arm, speaking lightly, —
"We came to-night, half in frolic. A negro
revival is a curious sight to our Northern visitors,
you know. What's all the fuss? What 's Josephus
been doing? " >
" Hit 's Pete Gunn we 're a'ter, 'nd Joe 's been
hid'n' 'im, I reckon. We'll hev tu clap 'im in irons
fer it tu, 'f he don't git hung. When jestice has tu
be done, it 's mighty hard Ijold'n' the men back."
** I don't believe Pete 's there. I was in the cabin
myself and didn't see him."
" Oh, yes, he is," exclaimed Portia, honestly. '* I
saw him creep in. That was what frightened me so."
" He 's thar all right, — psalm-singin' devils ;
they're hid'n' 'im. We'd ought tu blow up th'
cabin 'nd send 'em all tu hell." Josephus, making
his way from tree to tree, was lost in the darkness as
these few words were spoken. " Whar is that dog
now?" said Patterson, peering after him.
" Wen de Gates Lift Up deir Haids *' 1 79
" I '11 take Miss Van Ostade to her party, and
come back and hunt him up for you." John felt it
wisest to placate, falling easily into Patterson's own
vernacular, for the sake of the trembling girl at his
side. " He 's too badly hurt to do any harm for
one while, I reckon."
Portia drew back and laid her hand again on
Patterson's arm. " Please, Mr. Patterson, — you seem
able to control all the rest, — don't blow up the
cabin. It is murder, even if they are black."
Patterson, always tender and gentle to a white
woman, looked into her pleading face upturned to
his in the moonlight, and felt himself swayed by the
quivering hps and trembling touch.
" Young lady, I 'm mighty cut up ovah this.
Thar ain't wuth enough in all th' niggah trash on
earth tu make up tu ye fer hit. Mind ye, we won't
du no mo' killin' fo' yu' sake than we are mortally
obleeged tu. Ef 't wan't foh yu, we might o' blowed
up the whole kit. Now yu go with John 'nd git
ovah yu' skeer, 'nd we '11 keep 'em still till yu' fairly
out o' hyarin'."
'' Your heart is kind ; please let it rule," she
pleaded again. They hastened, stumbling along
in the dark ravine. For the second time they had
been deserted by their companions. They heard
Patterson shout to the negroes penned in the cabin,
**Yu haish thar, yu black catterwaulin* catamounts,
we '11 talk fa'r when yu pan out th' niggah we 'r'
THE DRIVE HOME
MARSHALL peered among the shadows for
Josephus. He had told him to watch for
them down the trail. He still had Portia's hand
grasped in his. " I can't let go of you on this rough
path," he said. She was glad, although she felt her
cheeks glow in the darkness. She was frightened
and weak after the first excitement, and the touch
of his hand was strong and warm.
" I wonder at their leaving us here with no light,"
" We can see very well where the moonlight falls.
You are too courageous to care. You were the
only brave one among us."
" I am cowardly. I am trembling yet for fear I
shall hear shots again. I wish they would quiet
those horrible dogs. Hear them ! "
" Don't think of it, — you have done all you can."
They came to a wide ledge of rock. " Stop here
and rest a moment. We shall be missed soon, and
some one will come back for us."
Far below them sounded the water rushing among
the rocks. The moonlight filtered over them through
the leafage. He saw her face, white in its silvery
light. He still held her hand, loath to resign it
" Lean on my arm and rest a moment," he said.
The Drive Home i8i
"No, I am not tired, only — oh, hear that! " A
shriek rent the air, followed by scream after scream,
the howling of dogs and the hoarse cries of men's
voices. Portia felt her knees giving way under her.
She clutched at John's coat, frantic with horror,
thinking of the negroes penned in the cabin, and
sank down on her knees at his feet with her hands
over her face. Marshall stooped and raised her
gently and tried to lead her on.
** Come, you must not stay here another moment.
Don't take it to heart so. It is not as bad as it
sounds. They are only frightened. There is no
"No, no. Go to them. Go back. You can stop
" I can't leave you here alone ; it would be villany.
I am powerless. They don't care for me."
" Oh, they will. Try, try to stop them. Oh,
hear ! I will go with you."
** I will not let you go to be mixed up with that
crazy crowd," he said firmly. ** Come." Could he
have done so, he would have carried her away
" I am only one. Do you think one soul of more
worth than all those helpless creatures? I am not
afraid, I tell you. Go back and try. I shall detest
you else." In her frenzy she did not know her own
vehemence. She stamped her foot. Placing both
hands on his breast, she pushed him from her. He
" God forgive me if any harm comes to you," he
said in a tone that reached her heart through all her
excitement and brought her to herself once more.
1 8 2 When the Gates Lift Up their Heads
" What have I done, what have I done ? " she said,
sinking down on her knees again and trying to stop
her ears with her fingers. '* Everything is wrong."
John ran in the darkness, stumbling, falling, and
running again, in his haste to accomplish his errand,
and return. At the scene he found quiet restored,
while the men parleyed for the prisoner. The ne-
groes would have willingly given him up, but he
had escaped them, having crept up the chimney.